This weekend sent spirits of two basketball franchises in the East in different directions. The Boston Celtics found out they'll be without All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo for the season. Paul Pierce even found out live on the air and his reaction was probably just like that of Celtics fans everywhere.
Meanwhile, the word on Andrew Bynum down in Philadelphia was surprisingly positive. There were rumblings over the weekend that Bynum could be ready for action even before the All-Star Game.
Heck, even the coaches are starting to get a bit excited. From John Finger's story:
“It’s encouraging that he’s doing more and more work,” said assistant
coach Michael Curry, who ran the practice session with Collins out with a
sinus infection. “We did a lot to get him. When you see him on the
court, he’s one heck of a player. He’s starting to do some things at
shoot-around and his level of activity has picked up. He’s here working
three hours or so a day. Yeah, you’re going to get excited.”
Michael Curry also added the heart-warming line of the weekend.
"I think it is good for the organization to have a young guy that can
play with Andrew (Bynum) for a long time," Curry said, referring to
Holiday's newly acquired all-star status. "That is good for us. That is
good for confidence and for bringing guys in in the future -- they want
to play with those types of guys. So that is a good step for Jrue and a
good step for the organization."
Andrew and Jrue playing together for "a long time." That sounds like a dream, doesn't it? Let's continue offering up our sacrifices to the gods of knees.
The loss of Rondo in Boston and the prospect of getting Bynum back sooner than expected certainly muddied up the East. But did the Sixers dig themselves too big a hole while Bynum was out? You'd probably be surprised if you looked at the standings and saw the Sixers are only 2.5 games behind the Celtics for the 8th playoff spot.
His welcomed return will surely make them a team to watch for the season that remains when it ever happens.